The Cylonduino Arduino Experiement

  
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I`ve been putting in a lot of extra hours at work the last week in anticipation of an editing deadline. Despite this, I thought it was about time that I attempt a little hardware hacking. Even before computers, I was facinated by electronics. I read book after book, but had little success in applying any of that knowledge beyond kits bought from R
The Cylonduino Arduino Experiement - schematic

adio Shack. Given my recently revived interest in Ham Radio, it was only a matter of time before I`d turn my attention back to this, my oldest of hobbies. Microcontrollers have recently become surprisingly affordable. It used to be that a microcontrollers, or "BASIC Stamps" as one early product line called itself, that you needed expensive programmer boards and in some cases, knowledge of assembly. Today`s microcontrollers are much, much simplier. Beyond a computer and a USB cable, you really don`t need much to start experimenting. When I first looked into buying one, two brands immediately came to mind, the Parallax Quickstart andthe Arduino. I`ve heard of the Parallax before. That esoteric little board is based on a "barrel processor", with 8 independant cores and one shared bus. It`s interesting approach certainly captured my interest, but the complexity kept me from investing. Programming the Parallax board requires some finesse, and is probably not the best idea if you haven`t any previous hands-on microcontroller experience. The Arduino, on the other hand, is a lot more straightforward. The Arduino Uno a single core system running at 16Mhz with 32K of on board memory. You can purchase it online from a variety of vendors (although I`m fond of female-led Adafruit), or your local Radio Shack. Yes, Radio Shack. Apparently they got the idea that people still like buying parts and kits. While no Fry`s Electronics, Radio...



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